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Karnataka Legislative Council Polls: Meet Congress’ Billionaire Candidate

Bangalore : He may have been a little known name in the party circles but Congress’ Yusuf Sharif has now got all the attention on him, thanks to a declared family worth of over ₹ 1,000 crore, (According to NDTV Reports) made in his poll affidavit for the December 10 Karnataka Legislative Council polls.

Mr Sharif, a multi billionaire who was earlier into selling scrap before foraying into real estate, has declared assets belonging to him and his family worth over ₹ 1,744 crore, making him arguably the richest candidate among the lot.

The 54-year old businessman is contesting from the Bangalore Urban local authorities’ constituency, and was not much known in the party circles until his name was announced.

Mr Sharif is also known as ‘Gujari Babu’ or ‘Scrap Babu’, in an apparent reference to his stint in scrap-dealing.

A native of Kolar Gold Fields, in the affidavit filed before the Election Commission along with his nomination papers, Mr Sharif has stated he studied till Class V at the local government school, has two wives and five children — a daughter and four sons.

According to NDTV Reports he has declared ₹ 97.98 crore movable and ₹ 1,643.59 crore worth immovable assets in his name. While his first wife has ₹ 98.96 lakh movable and ₹ 1.30 crore worth immovable assets, his second spouse has ₹ 32.22 lakh worth movable assets. The rest is in the name of his children.

He has liabilities of ₹ 67.24 crore.

Mr Sharif has over ₹ 16.87 crore in various bank accounts and ₹ 17.61 crore as investments in bonds, debentures or shares, while his wives have ₹ 16.99 lakh and ₹ 20,681 respectively in their bank accounts, and investments worth ₹ 1.60 lakhs and ₹ 75,000.

The family has vehicles worth over ₹ 3 crore that include one Rolls Royce car and two Fortuners, and jewellery, bullion or valuables worth ₹ 3.85 crore.

Mr Sharif said he has four cases pending against him at the city’s police stations, three of which he claims were based on allegations made while developing property.

He has also said the Income Tax department had searched his premises earlier and concluded the assessment by levying total dues of ₹ 13.43 crore, against which he has appealed before the Income Tax Commission. The appeal has been admitted, but the hearing is yet to be held.

With a 2016 newspaper report stating Mr Sharif was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police for misbehaving with a woman government official in the Revenue department, the BJP in a tweet said, “what kind of a person has got Congress’ legislative council election ticket.”

The BJP also took aim at state Congress chief DK Shivakumar for seeking to send a person “who was behind bars for misbehaving” to the “House of Elders”.

Mr Sharif was also said to be associated with the gold mining industry, by having a mill tank to purify raw gold, when Kolar Gold Fields was operational.

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